The latest Star Trek series, Strange New Worlds, hasn’t even debuted its first season yet, but there is already major news about season two. As reported by Variety, Paul Wesley, who is best known for his starring role in the CW’s The Vampire Diaries, has been cast as Captain James T. Kirk in season two of the series, which was renewed back in January ahead of its premiere on May 5th on Paramount+.
Kirk is among the most iconic Star Trek characters, first appearing in the original series as played by William Shatner, who will celebrate his 91st birthday next week and who recently went into space on Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin craft. Chris Pine took over the role for the 2009 reboot film and its two sequels, with a fourth film coming soon.
Wesley shared his enthusiasm on Twitter alongside a photo of him sitting next to Shatner on a flight. “I am deeply humbled and still a little startled to have been given the honor of playing the inimitable James T Kirk. Ever since I was a kid, I have been awed by the imaginative world Gene Roddenberry created. Recently, I boarded a flight to LA to discover that the man in the empty seat beside me was the one and only William Shatner, having himself just returned from space. I could barely put two words together but ultimately I managed to say hello and we chatted. I’m not one who usually believes in fate but this was more than a coincidence. And of course I had to get a picture. So thanks Mr. Shatner for the good company. And for seating us together, my thanks to the great bird in the sky. Can’t wait for all of you to see our Captain Kirk on your screens.”
The creative team behind the show, executive producer Alex Kurtzman and showrunners Akiva Goldsman and Henry Alonso Myers, echoed their excitement. “Paul is an accomplished actor, an astonishing presence and a welcome key addition to the show. Like all of us, he is a life-long ‘Star Trek’ fan and we are excited by his interpretation of this iconic role.” Wesley joins cast members Anson Mount (Captain Christopher Pike), Ethan Peck (Spock), and Rebecca Romijn (Una Chin-Riley), reprising their roles from the second season of the existing Paramount+ Star Trek series, Discovery, which concludes airing its fourth season tomorrow.